Reading roundup

Autumn’s authors about town
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  September 10, 2008

This fall’s regional literary scene will see abstinence and desire, ghosts and dykes, convicts and Christians, toxic water bottles and yummy food. Plus one Read-a-Thon and a popular dragon. Here, we take you up to Halloween with some of the most appealing literary offerings coming to Portland.

Gary Paul Nabhan | September 19
MacArthur Fellowship recipient (i.e. genius dude) Gary Paul Nabhan is coming through Maine this month to attend MOFGA’s Common Ground Fair, but he’ll stop in Portland to talk about food, conservation, farming, and his new book, Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine (Shearwater). While the topics might seem old hat, the book is not. Nabhan presents his arguments about the forces affecting our food supply in the context of fascinating Nikolay Vavilov, a mid-20th-century Russian scientist who collected seeds from around the world in order to understand and explore biological diversity. In turn, Vavilov hoped to help prevent hunger and malnutrition; in a classically Russian example of tragedy and irony, he died of starvation after being imprisoned by Joseph Stalin. Rabelais and Slow Food Portland will host Nabhan at SPACE Gallery on September 19, where he will answer questions about his own retracing of Vavilov’s worldwide seed search, and the food issues he unearthed along the way.

Gary Paul Nabhan | Friday, September 19 @ 7 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St, Portland | $5 | 207.774.1044 | rabelaisbooks.com

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